Artist Trading Cards

gerardgange_atc_headline

Chronicling a Relationship

Before I started officially dating my wife, she introduced me to artist trading cards. These ATCs were described as small works that artists would make and exchange with one another. Immediately upon hearing this I thought, "what a perfect way for an artist to flirt with another artist."

That night I made her an ATC to commemorate the chance encounter, which brought us together that evening. On the front of the card was a collage referencing our meeting and on the back, an illustration. The next time we met I presented her with the artist trading card. That evening too was commemorated on a 3.75 x 2.25 inch ATC, that was presented to her on the next subsequent meeting. As time passed we saw each other more and more, each day being chronicled as they went. Eventually we were seeing each other on a daily basis, ATCs recording the ups and downs of our relationship and life together. As the cards started amassing I constructed hand-made boxes, custom fit into "decks" of  52 cards.

Several years later we were married and my wife, concerned for the amount of time I spent making the cards each day, asked me to scale back the production of ATCs. Reluctantly, I agreed to make only one card a week. However, in this agreement I invented a loophole that would allow me to continue my visual diary. This revelation was to convert the single card format to miniature books the same size and only slightly thicker than the originals. The front and back of the cards still contained a collage and drawing respectively, but the inside pages also contained notes for each day spent together and apart, as well as a simple illustration of that day's main event.

As of January 1, 2016 I have presented my wife with more than 800 artist trading cards chronicling our life together.